When it comes to the WSOP Main Event, any sort of “back-to-back” success usually brings one a lot of acclaim. There were, of course, the four who won two straight titles -- Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, Stu Ungar, and Johnny Chan -- guaranteeing for all four a kind of “immortal” status. In 2004, we saw another former champ, Dan Harrington, make his second straight final table, finishing in fourth place (after ending up in 3rd the year before). Then in 2005, the previous year’s champ Greg Raymer made it all of the way to 25th place, a run that appeared to have solidified his reputation as a top player.
I was curious to see how many of the 112 players still alive in this year’s Main Event did well last year. As far as I can tell, only five of those 112 finished in the money last year. Those five are
Of course, if either of the former Main Event winners who are still alive -- Huck Seed (in 30th) or Scotty Nguyen (in 44th) -- were to last through today, that would certainly be the lead story heading into Day 6.
Stefan Mattsson, currently in 22nd; finished 57th last year ($123,699) Humberto Brenes, currently in 48th; finished 36th last year ($329,865) Dario Minieri, currently in 36th; finished 543rd last year ($22,266) Jared Hamby, currently in 88th; finished 812th last year ($15,504) Thomas Koo, currently in 104th; finished 397th last year ($30,512)
One other item: Last year there were 8,773 entrants, and when play reached Level 20 there were still 159 players remaining. This year 6,358 signed up and there are only 112 players left at the same point. Just like last year, levels are two hours long, and comparing the structure for blinds/antes shows that, in fact, the structure has been “slower” -- relatively speaking -- thus far this year when compared to last year.
Meaning what? Well, players have been busting at a higher clip this year, and not necessarily because of the blinds/antes structure. (So far, anyhow.)
I wonder if having all of those chips in play might occasionally be affecting betting sizes, perhaps even causing some looser-than-normal play here and there? After all, they are at a point now where over half of the remaining players -- 60 -- have at least a million chips.
I realize it’s “all relative” and good players should certainly be able to understand that having a million chips on Day 5 of the 2007 WSOP ME is not the equivalent of having the same amount pretty much at any point in any other tournament. Even so, this is somewhat new territory, I’d suggest, and some players will be better able to adjust to having so many friggin’ chips than others.
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